Day 1 of Citrix Synergy 2010 in San Francisco brought some exciting advances. The highlight was Citrix CEO Mark Templeton's keynote address that confirmed earlier product availability news and introduced several other new offerings and roadmaps. There is definitely more energy and excitement at Synergy this year than could be felt in previous years. Here is a quick summary:
Day 1 of Citrix Synergy 2010 in San Francisco brought some exciting advances. The highlight was Citrix CEO Mark Templeton's keynote address that confirmed earlier product availability news and introduced several other new offerings and roadmaps. There is definitely more energy and excitement at Synergy this year than could be felt in previous years. Here is a quick summary:Type 1 Client Hypervisor - XenClient
The long-awaited (originally announced in 2008!) Type 1 client hypervisor is finally at release candidate (RC) stage. While it is still beta, it is most definitely a welcomed step in the right direction. XenClient comes with the Citrix Receiver, which is used to launch virtualized applications, and the synchronizer, which allows the locally running VM to synchronize with its partner running in the data center (very cool). XenClient will also allow more than two virtual machines to run and has a rich set of tools that allow for policy-based deployment, management and control.
HP, Dell and Lenovo offer laptop versions that are compatible with XenClient, which requires the Intel vPro processor. All demos that were shown around XenClient were impressive; for many, the type 1 client hypervisor will be the enabler for their desktop virtualization initiatives.
Wyse Xenith Zero Client: Probably my favorite announcement of the day was the Wyse Xenith Zero Client device, finally a true zero client for HDX. The Xenith terminal supports local USB devices like iPhones, Web cams and more. This device was shown to boot inside of six seconds and comes with an extremely attractive price tag. Wyse has positioned itself as a necessary addition to any XenDesktop deployment.
McAfee Security Suite: McAfee had an interesting announcement around redesigning its security suite to allow for the scanning of VMs without having to install software inside these VMs. This is huge considering how much processing and resource savings it could potentially yield, further increasing the performance and enhancing user experience.
Citrix Receiver Encrypted Storage Spaces: The Citrix Receiver will now be able to encrypt specified local storage zones, where offline applications store data. The technology will also allow for a kill pill that can remotely destroy data on mobile devices. This is good news for security and compliance officers, though I would love to see it in action, as the proof remains in the pudding. Still, most definitely a step in the right direction.
Templeton then announced the launch of several new projects that Citrix is currently focused on. The disappointing part was the limited amount of information disclosed about this roadmap, but we will definitely dig further into these projects and report on them. He mentioned the following:
Project Zoom (geared towards instant application launch)
Project mach 3 (3x faster HDX performance)
Project Laser (enhanced high remote printing by consuming 10% less bandwidth)
Project Mercury (WAN Acceleration enhancement for network latency of 300ms)
Project Dynamo (adaptive QoS Policies)
The innovation award this year went to a Chicago-based company, and of course I always have a sweet spot for anything to do with Chicago (GO HAWKS!). Sonnenschein desktop virtualization initiative achieved complete centralization across the enterprise, which spans 13 offices and over 1,500 users. As a consultant in Chi-town, I have had business relations with Sonnenschein. That being said, I was aware of the Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp initiate there and was very happy with the route they took embracing and adopting desktop virtualization at a time when many companies were still very skeptical as to whether it would succeed. Kudos to the business team for embracing such cutting edge technology and to the IT team on the successful implementation. Check out the video here
A Successful Day 1
Day 1 was successful; I wonder if Citrix can keep this pace and wrap up Citrix Synergy on such an upbeat note. Day 2 will focus on virtualization in the data center, more specifically around XenDesktop and XenServer.
Elias Khnaser is the practice manager for virtualization and cloud computing at Artemis Technology, a solutions integrator focused on aligning business and IT.
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